Brynn Harper, 17, a former honors student, has been relegated to the “blue room,” the place where the “applied” or academically challenged juniors go. Brynn is whip smart, but dyslexia and a difficult home life make it hard for her to excel at school. As part of an assignment to write to a “celebrity hero,” Brynn reaches out to MSNBC host Rachel Maddow. Brynn sees Maddow as a fighter for truth and fairness, and she begins to write drafts of diarylike emails to her, without the intention of sending them. Things get complicated for Brynn as she finds herself challenging injustice during a school election while juggling a new romance, an ex-girlfriend who may be using her, and an increasingly dangerous home situation. In her debut novel, Kisner uses the epistolary format to portray the life of a girl who has very little parental support and is seemingly falling through the cracks at school. By writing in a first-person confessional style, Kisner allows her character to express herself with blatant honesty. She also shares other characters’ correspondence, offering additional insight into Brynn’s personality. Revealing Brynn to be an individual with realistic insecurities, biases, and complexities, Kisner playfully explores the very human manner in which a stranger like Maddow might come to feel like a friend and confidant. Ages 13–up. Agent: Catherine Drayton, InkWell Management. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/16/2018 Release date: 06/05/2018 Genre: Children's
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